Re: [new_distillers] Which Still to build
- Hi, I have sent your query on to Tony Ackland, moderator of this list as he is
far more knowledgeable in that area.
> vandermeulen@... writes:--
> << I sketched out a design, that has a ~24"x2" column, ~18" lyne arm, and 18"
> jacket condenser - passed it around on this list for comments. Tony A.
> thought that it should work, as did others. I ran it a week ago and right off
> got ~80%abv product!! Way too high for what I wanted. I suspect that the
> column is far too long - so I am shortening it to maybe 12" and will try
> again. >>
> Howdy John! ....which brings me to more questions --- it seems that
> almost all of the folks in this group use electricity and are stuck with 1 or
> 2 choices as to heat output for the boiler. Since the heat used for the
> reflux is less, aiming for purity, might it not be enough to maximize vapor
> production to get the "Flavors" over the top? I use a big gas burner (for
> boiling crab and lobster) under my boiler. With the infinite heat range (to
> maximum, of course), might that push more vapor? The pic you attached used
> fire, for instance.
> As to fire vs electricity, why is the latter chosen over gas? Is it a
> safety issue or a matter of convenience? I use very little LP gas in aiming
> for 95% since the only vapor sought is Ethanol and the water runs only enough
> to cool the vapor and equalize the reflux (2L water / min.). I must be
> living on the edge or something, but the fire extinguisher is always close
> Thanks for the reply...please don't think you're "ranting"! I can't get
> enough information and sometimes the pearl in buried in the meat. More is
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> sorry, for not getting back to you immediately. Your question is agood one -
> why not convert refrlux column to pot still? There is almost zerowritten about
> pot-still design, either from experience or theoretical. So I amgoing for it by
> trial and error.and 18" jacket
> I sketched out a design, that has a ~24"x2" column, ~18" lyne arm,
> condenser - passed it around on this list for comments. Tony A.thought that it
> should work, as did others.John and others,
This conversation kind of ties in with a project I currently have on
the go. I have been playing with a hybrid still design for a while
now, in which you get a pot still and a n/s still in one. I posted
the drawings here a while ago:
Because I want to be able to make rum's and whiskey's, I think a pot
still is the way to go for this. However, I am not happy with
the "traditional" design, so have come up with my own design
(well I think its my own!), which converts a nixon stone still into
a "Hybrid Nixon stone/Pot Still".
On the diagram, you can see at the far left, a rough drawing of my
current N/S still. The boiler is 60L, with a 2" BSP fitting on the
top. To this the column gets screwed on, which also has 2" BSP
fittings either end. The Nixon Stone head then screws on the top of
the column, by way of another 2" BSP fitting.
Next to this diagram, you can see my proposed design for my hybrid
still. It utilises the boiler and n/s head of my current setup, but
the column is removed. In its place, there is a T-junction screwed
to the boiler. At the top of the T, a 2" ball/gate valve is screwed,
followed by a either a shorter column (around 500mm I plan) or my
standard column, and then the N/S head on top. Out of the horizontal
section of the T, a 3/4" ball/gate valve is screwed, from which the
3/4" pot still arm goes to the thumper, and then onto a water jacket
The way I plan to have it working is:
a) 2" valve open, 3/4" valve shut - This runs it in 'short column N/S
Still' mode. The column is packed with scrubbers (as usual!). This
is how the run starts, and after equilibrium, the heads are removed
from the N/S head. A further 100 - 500mL are removed, in order to
get rid of any other 'nasties'.
b) The Still gets turned off, and once the head temp has gone down to
around 30-40 degrees, the 3/4" valve then gets opened, and the 2"
c) The power gets turned back on, (probably with a decrease in heat
power). This then runs it in 'pot still mode', with the lower purity
distillate coming out as normal from a pot still.
I see this as an advantage, as I can be sure that any methanols and
other nasties are removed, while still having the benefits of a pot
still for flavour profile.
I planned to have this up and running ages ago, but have been too
busy - hopefully sometime soon though! I'm still collecting bits,
and redesigning it, so any input would still be gladly taken!
> Since the heat used for theNot necessarily so - you still want the same amount of heat & vapour, its
> reflux is less, aiming for purity ...
just that you then go and return say 80-90% of the vapour back to the column
as reflux. My choice is always to maximise the amount of heat input to suit
the column diameter (a method which has its critics). Only in cases where
the amount of reflux cooling is fixed would you necessarily decrease the
heat input to get the greater purity / higher reflux ratio
> might it not be enough to maximize vaporthats basically the same method as in the "making corn whisky" book by Ian
> production to get the "Flavors" over the top?
Smiley - reduce the amount of reflux, so that more flavours do come through.
Its all about adjusting the ratio of reflux to vapour to get the purity you
want. Since its a reflux, you can do it either way - decrease the reflux,
or increase the vapour rate.
> As to fire vs electricity, why is the latter chosen overfor me electricity is convienient. Gas is perfectly fine to use, provided
> gas? Is it a safety issue or a matter of convenience?
you follow safety guidelines, like those of Davids at